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“Disappointed”

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Schonbrunn Hotel Beijing
Ranked #3,237 of 6,448 Hotels in Beijing
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
Reviewed 3 December 2012

We spent a total of 5 nights in Beijing in September, including 3 nights at the Schonbrunn hotel.

This hotel was part of our tour, so we didn't have any choice. The hotel common areas are nice and new, and certainly the exterior architecture is quite nice. The staff did their best to help, however none of the staff except the Manager spoke English well. We were given a room facing the road, and as other posts have suggested those rooms are noisy, although I find road noise the easiest to live with. The room we had was actually quite large, and had all the usual amenities. However the real issue with the room, and hallways, was the smell of cigarette smoke in all the carpets et al. I am not a anti-smoker; for me, a smoking floor should always be provided, but we were on a NON SMOKING FLOOR! And the rooms (all three that I was shown) all had ashtrays?!? Apparently, it's only non-smoking room until you need/ask to smoke, and then it's a smoking room. Bizarre.

As mentioned, the Manager spoke fluent English, and to the hotel's credit, they offered me 3 other rooms, and likely would have continued to offer me rooms, but the fact remained that they all had a smokey odor, so why move. All the staff were helpful and truly tried to accommodate me, but the hotel has a policy problem, not a staff problem.

Amenities were substandard for a hotel that wants to bill itself as a 4-5 star. There was only one restaurant + the buffet for the tour groups. The buffet was ok, in that the selection was good, but a fair assortment of the western dishes were cool/cold. The restaurant is a true Chinese restaurant - be prepared for all manner of dishes, served in true Chinese style with all the parts of the animal on the plate. We stuck to chicken (head and feet included), and while the better half struggled with this, I will say that the food was tasty, if somewhat overpriced.

There was (as of October 2012) no wifi in the rooms, and the wifi reception in the lobby was poor/nonexistent. I used the laundry services, and the clothes were clean, although with an odd smell. Not bad, just odd. They didn't deliver my clothes to the room on time (we were leaving early), but again, the staff was excellent, in that when I called to find the clothes, they were brought to my room within 10 minutes.

The location of the hotel is really not great (it is on the 4th ring road), as it relates to the major attractions. Yes, you can get to the subway, but don't plan on walking there. The hotel is actually closer to the Summer Palace than it is to the Forbidden City or other central attractions.

A tip for those who would like an alternative to the hotel restaurants and a bit of truly cheap shopping, there is a mall about 10 minutes walk up the road, and it includes what I will describe as China's version of Walmart (turn left when you leave the hotel). It has lots of well priced items, and tons of selection, including food. We bought lots of yoghurts and granola type cereals for our own breakfast. There are other stores there as well, and it certainly seemed cheaper than downtown.

As mentioned, we spent 3 nights here and 2 nights at the Beijing Marriott City Wall. Before you say "ah, but the Marriott must be 3 times the price", check the Marriott website. Other reviews of this hotel suggest roughly $CAD88 - I just looked at the Marriott website and a room can be had for $125CAD. There are lots of hotels closer to the major downtown attractions, and (true) walking distance from the subway for access to the Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven etc.

In summary, my review title is purposefully chosen - I don't think it would take much to get this hotel up from a 2 (or 3) star to a proper 4 star. Get rid of all the stale, smelly odor causing carpets and furniture, enforce smoking & non-smoking floors, add another restaurant that caters to western style Chinese food, and this place really would be nice. It is a new hotel, the rooms are spacious and comfortable, the staff is trying hard, and the facade is truly splendid.

Room Tip: If you don't like road noise, get a room facing opposite, as you can hear the traffic.
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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113 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    32
    11
    6
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18
5
5
13
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rowland Heights, California
Level Contributor
379 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2012

The rate at this hotel is actually quite low compared with other hotels of similar quality in Beijing. The room is small, but comparable with other hotels in Beijing of similar class. The gym was finally opened (last year it was closed) and while it was functional but very limited in equipment. The location is not convenient at all and difficult to catch a cab. I would recommend walk across the high-way (using the pedestrian bridge, please) and you will have a better chance catching a cab. Since there is no restaurants within the walking distance from the hotel, the hotel charges an exorbitant amount for a bad breakfast. The dinner at the restaurant was okay, but higher than comparable places in Beijing. Due to its inconvenient location, this hotel caters to local Chinese tour groups, which you will see hundreds of people gather at the lobby getting ready to board their huge buses. All in all, it was an okay place to stay if you can manage the transportation issue. Finally, in October, they turn off the air condition at night, but my room remain stuffy and warm even though it was nice and cool outside.

Room Tip: The outside facing room, as opposed to courtyard facing rooms are cooler, but more expensive.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BigFishDiveClub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level Contributor
41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2012

Stayed here in May 2012 for 4 nights, as part of 3 day beijing tour and an extra day on our own. Overall hotel was decent, had amenities and facilities nearby. Because it is not in the touristy part of town, there is lots of local flavor if you're willing to explore around the hotel.

Pros:
Rooms are spacious: 2 double beds, couch and sitting area, fridge, hairdryer, lots of bathroom toiletries, 2 bottles of free water daily. Kettle was used to boil all water used, as per tour guide's instructions. Free Wifi in lobby and breakfast room. Breakfast was plentiful and not too busy at 7:30 - 8:30am, though we heard the big tour buses can pack the cafe at 6-7am. There is convenience store and restaurant in the hotel and spa prices seemed decent. Addressed previous reviewer's issue and added safety flashlights to all rooms. Instead of doing the typical tour optional shows, my tour group of 6 decided to explore the area around the hotel on our own. Immediate area around hotel is quiet/desolate but we found several local night markets / street vendors within 10mins walking: beside the AIKA shopping center, on the overpass bridge by the AIKA centre, at the bottom of the overpass across the street and within the alleyways across from the hotel. Bakery, meat shops, noodle shops, street hawkers, etc. Even a shopping centre with their version of electronics store and walmart-type store. Tourists aren't common there and the prices are definitely for locals. A good deal but you definitely need to know some key words in mandarin. We were a braver going out in a group than as a couple. At the end of our stay, the hotel reserved a taxi to send us to the airport, which only cost ~150RMB for about 1 hour. Well worth it instead of taking transit.

Cons:
Rooms facing street outside are not soundproof, hear constant traffic throughout the night so bring ear plugs. But beds were clean and comfortable. I paid $100 extra for the extra night and saw that you could book for about $88CAD a night. (Our tour group Was supposed to go to the Jade Palace Hotel but got bumped from the original hotel, so no swiming pool facilities as we had originally expected, but not hotel's fault.) Not near the subway system. You can take a bus south towards the 'Wukesong' train station (nearest), which is ~5 mins away. Transit system during rush hour 5pm is insane, no concept of queuing or waiting in line. Avoid or be prepared to push your way onto a train.

Overall, I would say we were happy with the hotel. It was good place to retreat to after a day of touring and nearby local life definitely showed a different side of Beijing life than what you are told in a typical Tour of China.

Room Tip: Quieter, smaller rooms face towards the interior courtyard /back and the larger but noisier rooms fa...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank madsab20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ancaster
Level Contributor
69 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2012

After a long flight the hotel was a lovely respite. Great amenities. The rooms were clean, the beds were comfortable. Our tour guide dealt with check-in process which did not take very long. Not a big fan of Beijing as a city, but the hotel was great.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank dkdkdkdkdk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2011

Usually you take the service attitude here in Beijing with a grain of salt but for an international hotel as they claim to be, the service was one of the worst i’ve ever encountered。 The rooms are spectacular though, one of the best i‘ve stayed in China - new and bright, nice thoughtful details throughout。

HOWEVER - when we first checked in, the front desk was extremely impatient and impolite, at one point even accused us for faking the reservation when we clearly presented all confirmations。The first night when we returned to our hotel we found that our keycards did not work, front desk told us it was because we only booked one night and locked our room with all the stuff in it until we pay up。 We showed them the reservation of two nights, again, more accusations and a rather rude demand of extra deposit of 500RMB when we were not told of that the first day。We were so tired of this ongoing rude attitude we didn’t even bother clarifying。

Nice hotel but I would not go back as paying customer ever again。

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank iczi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sonora, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2010

We stayed at the Schonbrunn Hotel in Beijing with a group of 20 Americans including two small children. The check in process was a little long as they were accommodating changes to our room type. We ended up with most of us in a room with one queen sized bed and some people in a room with two double beds. The Queen rooms were small, but well appointed. The hotel was fairly new and was immaculately clean. The bed was comfortable - certainly the best bed we slept in while in China. A bit firm, but no where near many of the other hotels we stayed at. It was a bit odd that there was a window from the bathroom into the bedroom. There was a shade you could pull for more privacy which I found after having the people who were across from us watch me pee after we arrived and threw the window open to let the sun in. oopse. The double rooms were huge. Even for American standards they were quite large and certainly some of the largest rooms we found in China. The hotel is just off of the fourth ring high way. Our group had rooms facing the high way and facing the courtyard. There were not any complaints about noise.

While we stayed there we also borrowed a wheel chair from the hotel for free. The staff was very helpful in getting taxis and helping us find where we might want to go. There were always a couple of staff at the door to greet you when you came back.

The one downfall is that there isn't a lot within walking distance to the hotel. My husband is Chinese (born and raised in China, not Chinese-American) and even he would not eat at the restaurants across the highway from the hotel. On the same side of the highway about a 5min walk away there is a shopping mall type place with a food court and some noodle restaurants. We ate there once during the trip and bought jackets for the unexpected cold weather.

We got a very good deal paying about 380 Chinese Yuan per night. It was very close to the Summer Palace and the Bird's Nest, but a bit of a drive from other more central Beijing sites. The hotel mentioned that there was a metro line that we could take a bus to, but we didn't try it. They did have free high speed internet in the rooms - via ethernet cable, not wifi. There was free wifi in the lobby, but I could not get my iPhone to work with it most of the time.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LexaPT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Basking Ridge, NJ
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2009

I stayed at the Schonbrunn as part of a small workshop. It is very nice in some respects, and lacking in others. The biggest issue was that it lost power in a windstorm shortly after I arrived and they didn't seem very prepared for the outage. Rooms had battery-powered emergency flashlights but neither hallways nor stairways had any emergency illumination. Also, the cold water was a trickle (no shower after my flight!). A hotel like this, just a year old, should have a UPS with some emergency power to run lights and the water pump. I have a medical device that needs power, so they wound up taking me to the nearby Sheraton Four Points, a nicer hotel but over twice the cost. While I thought the Schonbrunn was covering it, it seems it was actually an arrangement with the workshop organizer to pay for it, which didn't seem fair. Returning to the Schonbrunn the next morning, I couldn't get a taxi to take me at first, until I had them phone the hotel for directions -- no one knows where this place is! They graciously upgraded me to a suite for the rest of my stay, which was very kind of them. But, there were other glitches, such as no bellman available when someone was checking in. Still, the staff is friendly and earnest. On the whole I would probably stay there again given the bang for the buck, so to speak.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FDFromNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Schonbrunn Hotel Beijing

Property: Schonbrunn Hotel Beijing
Address: No.125 West Fourth Ring Northern Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100195, China
Region: China > Beijing > Yuanda Road
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3,237 of 6,448 Hotels in Beijing
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Schonbrunn Hotel Beijing 4*
Number of rooms: 344
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